09 March 2017
Providing easy, reliable and cost-effective analytical tools is fundamental to allow agro-food companies to implement effective screening plans
INTERNAL CONTROL OF THE AGROFOOD CHAIN: ANALYSIS AT LESS THAN 10/€ PER SAMPLE Reducing the number of analysis is not the right way to save money on the screening budget
Assessment of food safety and law compliance about chemical contamination, in particular of mycotoxins, is an actual cost. Who works along the food chain, in any of its steps, knows that raw materials and finished products testing are quite a relevant part of the company annual expenses, and this is a fact either when the company relies on external laboratories or when the company has its own internal laboratory. Other than the cost of the analysis per se, there are other costs related to waiting time (particularly when samples are analyzed by an external laboratory), or personnel training when the internal control option is chosen. Reducing the number of controls as an attempt to save money on reagents and materials is not an option.
For this reason, Tecna developed some years ago a portfolio of ELISA kits that are extremely easy to adopt, robust, reliable, sensitive and much more cost-effective than any other immunoassay kit. That is the B ZERO® line, an analytical tests product line-up specifically intended for the detection of mycotocins in different samples (cereals, maize, distillers, nuts, etc.) designed to provide a reliable result at the lawest price. The B ZERO® ELISA kits do not need calibrators as the sample is quantified by means of a virtual master curve. This allows, even who analyses few samples per session, to use almost the whole kit just for the samples. The only control that has to be run for each analytical session is the “zero” standard, a mycotoxin-free solution.
A traditional 48 determinations ELISA kit that requires the use of 5 calibrators (o controlli) costs approximately 300€. During the company’s routinary activity, three cereals samples are analysed each day. Therefore, each day, 8 wells, and relative amount of reagents, are used: 3 wells are used for the wells and 5 for the calibrators. Therefore, the kit can be used for maximum six sessions, for a daily expense of 50 €, 17€ per sample. In this case, the annual expense is higher than 12.000€.
A 48 wells B ZERO® kit, at the same price, needs the use of just a single calibrator, the zero standard. In order to analyze three samples per day, 4 wells are used: thus, the kit can be used for 12 sessions, for a daily expense of 25€, 8€ per sample. The annual overall expense is cut by 50%.
The B ZERO® have already been adopted by many companies and laboratories since their early debut in 2013. The product lineup includes kits for the detection of aflatoxin B1, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and aflatoxin M1 in milk and dairy products. Today, Tecna proudly releases a new B ZERO® kit: B ZERO® FUMO, for the fumonisins detection in maize. The kit allows to determine the presence of fumonisins B1, B2 and B3 in 20 minutes only; the detection range is 750 – 60.000 ppb and the validated Limit of Quantification (LOQ) in maize is 1000 ppb. The kit performance can be definitely compared to those of the classic 5 standard kit Celer® FUMO, yet 10 years on the market.